We have always been trying to pay down our debt, however, last July we got serious. Before, we didn't budget and if I was able to work more and got paid more, I would throw that to debt, but then I didn't plan ahead and I would be short in other areas. In other words, I felt like I was trying to pay down the debt, but never seemed to go anywhere.
We made the decision to not start adopting again until we had the debt paid off. Yes, we are hoping to fundraise and get grants for our adoption, however, if we don't get it paid for, we did not want our debt climbing. We had a car loan, a home repair loan, 2 adoption loans, and some money on 5 credit cards. Minimum payments on all of these were around $1000 a month. I have to work quite a bit for us to pay just minimum payments.
Now, Aaron and I are together on this, so if I say "I" a lot it is only because I am telling this from my perspective, not because I am making all the decisions.
I have always been the one to keep up with the bills, which has worked well for us. July 2013, we made a budget and have been living with it and tweaking it as we go along. Aaron and I both get paid every 2 weeks and we get paid on the same weekend. So instead of a 1 month budget which was overwhelming to me, we do 2 week budgets. We have made some mistakes over the year.
We have spent when we should not have. I go over the grocery budget almost every 2 weeks and have to dip into miscellaneous. (Dave Ramsey would say to just budget more for groceries, but I am not ready to admit defeat yet)
All in all we have done sooooo much better on this budget.
So, in looking back over the last year, I am really proud of us.
We have paid off approx. $15,7000 in the last 12 months!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We still have a ways to go. that is not even half of what we owe, we have about $22,000+ left, but I am excited to see that gone!
Of course these next bills I list are smaller than a year ago, but we still owe on the home repair loan, car loan, 1 adoption loan, and 2 credit cards. One of the credit cards should be paid off in the next month.
That means we paid off our 3 smallest credit cards, and one adoption loan, and a little bit more on all the loans we still have.
We have set some short term goals, like pay down the debt to 17,000 or less by Thanksgiving. It is doable, if they don't keep cancelling me at work. It is definitely doable if Aaron gets to go on a fire this summer. We are hopeful he will, since he is on call right now, and packed and ready to leave any day.
I am disappointed to have put the adoption off for longer. And I am not getting any younger. I just turned 39. I have made a goal in my mind to have the debt paid off by my next birthday, which is next June. That would require me getting in quite a few days at work AND Aaron getting lots of OT or fires. So it is not a crazy goal, just a lofty one.